Government hires ad agency for ID card scheme

The government has hired advertising firm M&C Saatchi to try to sell its controversial national ID card scheme to the public.

The government has hired advertising firm M&C Saatchi to try to sell its controversial national ID card scheme to the public.

The identity card scheme will launch in November. An estimated 50,000 non-European Union (EU) foreign nationals issued with cards between then and April 2009.

Public relations consultants M&C Saatchi will start a marketing campaign to persuade people of the benefits of the ID card programme.

The government estimates the cost of the identity card scheme to be £20bn.

The M&C Saatchi campaign will include TV adverts and billboard posters. The cost of the M&C Saatchi campaign has not been disclosed.

The government says ID cards will help the fight against terrorism, serious organised crime, illegal immigration, and benefit cheats.

Privacy campaigners say the cards infringe civil liberties.

Workers in sensitive security jobs, including air-side airport workers, will be the next group to be issued with cards next year.

The government still has not appointed a commissioner to oversee the operation of the ID card scheme.

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